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The 4th Cohort of YoLe Fellows at their formal inauguration ceremony.

This year's International Youth Day (IYD) was on the theme: "Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages". It was marked in Ghana with an event by the Ministry of Youth & Sports and the National Youth Authority (NYA), with collaboration from the UN system in Ghana, including UNFPA at the Anagkazo Campus in Mampong, Eastern Region.

As part of this year's celebration of IYD, UNFPA Ghana held a joint ceremony for the graduation and inauguration of the 3rd and 4th Cohort of Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellows, respectively. Since November 2018 when the YoLe Fellowship Programme was instituted by the UNFPA Ghana Country Office under the leadership of Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, the program has successfully mentored sixty-two (62) young people.

Through the effective training and hands-on experience given to the Fellows, they have been able to develop skills in the initiation, design and implementation of projects, along with gaining a good understanding of the International Development architecture as it relates with the United Nations (UN).

Speaking at the ceremony, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Mr. Charles Abani commended UNFPA Ghana for the YoLe Fellowship Program, calling it 'an innovative attempt' by UNFPA to empower and develop the capacity of young people.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Mr. Charles Abani speaking at the ceremony.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Ms. Kati Csaba congratulated the outgoing cohort of the YoLe Fellowship and welcomed the new cohort. She mentioned that the Canadian Government was delighted to support UNFPA in empowering young people, especially adolescent girls. She also disclosed that she had a great time mentoring one of the YoLe Fellows, Naadu Addico, as part of the high-level mentorship of the 3rd Cohort. 

On his part, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Ghana Representative equally commended UNFPA Ghana for the YoLe Fellowship Program and shared how UNESCO was pleased to work with UNFPA in building the capacity of the Fellows by engaging them in UNESCO activities which involved the promotion of education, science and culture. 

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Youth & Sports, Mr. Eric Bonsu congratulated UNFPA for walking the talk as far as Youth Empowerment and Development was concerned. He also lauded the new cohort of Fellows and encouraged them to be productive by making use of the investments to be made in them by UNFPA. He also enjoined the outgoing YoLe Fellows to continue being worthy ambassadors of UNFPA.

The 3rd Cohort of YoLe Fellows displaying their certificates after graduation.

Upon completion of the YoLe Fellowship program, the outgone Fellows have gone on to pursue higher studies in different parts of the world through scholarships, with others obtaining employment in diverse fields where they are meaningfully contributing to societal development. The current cohort of YoLe Fellows are expected to build on the success of their predecessors.